Friday, 31st (1919)

Went to another lecture on ‘joint stock companies’ – amazing!

9 p.m.  In hopes of seeing Verdi’s Aida, I eventually got in at the back of the pit (parterre), from which coign of disadvantage heard and partially viewed what was left of Aida: and it was remarkably fine.  The scenery was of the most gorgeous Egyptian sumptuousness (or sumptuous Egyptian gorgeousness), and the music of more grandeur than any Verdi I had previously heard.  The two primae donnae (if that’s the proper plural) had voices of amazing range, one of them being the rather hard-faced lady with the voice reminiscent of Calve.  The mighty bass who took Mephistopheles in Faust also performed.

3 thoughts on “Friday, 31st (1919)”

  1. Wonderful vocabulary on display, as always.
    No sign of him getting sick of the opera yet. (Then again, have we ever gotten sick of our TV’s?)


    1. Yes – I had to look up ‘coign’ to reassure myself it wasn’t a typo!

      I intend to go through the diary and make a master list of all the operas he saw, but I haven’t had the discipline to do so yet. It is just remarkable to me there was such a wealth of performances going on – not just one, but many operas being performed almost continuously. A friend intelligently commented that the ‘post war’ part of the diary, with the focus on the enjoyment of music, highlights the grotesqueness of the war itself. The two things sit uncomfortably side by side, yet that is how it was. Lincoln only left Cologne on 22 February – so there are quite a few opera yet to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What is meant here by “joint stock companies”. I know of course what stock holding companies are, but what is he referencing here?


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